Full Grain Leather Belts

Breaking Down the Better Full Grain Leather Belt

The best full grain leather belts stand out without trying to. They’re noticeable without being flashy. A keen eye can spot quality because it’s so used to seeing throwaway consumer goods. At Duvall Leatherwork, we set out to create the ultimate men’s accessory, a full grain leather belt that could, if asked, last for a lifetime.

Here’s how we do it.

When it comes to making the best leather belts, that means going back to basics, then building back up slowly and deliberately. It starts with basic requirements. You need a strip of leather, a buckle and some holes. That’s all your leather belt needs. Anything else is extra. The materials you choose, the way you shape them and ultimately assemble and finish them makes all the difference. Those elements are the difference between a belt that lasts a couple years, or one you’ll buckle on day after day, year after year.

More components give you more possible points of failure. With that in mind, the Duvall Leatherwork collection of full grain leather belts are stunning for their simplicity. Subtle flourishes give each one its distinct character, the kind that you’ll find only in Duvall Leatherwork products.

It’s easy to spot more fanciful flourishes among the Men’s Leather Dress Belts. But these, after all, are just belts, so even the gentlest accent goes a long way.

Like in the Metro Belt, a single standing loop (the extra belt loop that secures the belt, right next to the buckle) with double stitching adds just a touch of flair that complements the Metro Belt’s glistening buckle with tight angles. It’s a more elegant combination than, say, the Rustic Leather Belt, which has a chunky rounded roller buckle and a plain but substantial standing loop.

Premium Leather

When crafting the best full grain leather belts, just like building a home, we begin with a foundation. When quality materials go first, everything after that comes easier. Starting with the best leather sets the tone for all the steps after that. At Duvall, we all hold a deep respect for quality materials. We think quality leather demands to be treated that way, so we take extra care when cutting, assembling, sewing and buffing our premium leather belts.

For starters, we use only premium English bridle leather, tanned in the USA. That part is worth clarifying. Some people might think English bridle leather has to come from the UK. False. It’s simply a gold standard tanning method that produces soft but tirelessly durable leather by “hot stuffing” it with wax and oils. The additives give it a distinct feel that can’t be imitated with other methods. And, yes, tanneries in the U.S. do it. It’s called bridle leather for its earliest application in horse tack, which coincidentally, has another place in the Duvall Leatherwork story.

Time-tested methods

From 20 plus years of experience in the leather goods industry, designer and craftsman Nick Duvall has developed Duvall Leatherwork’s signature look and reputation for quality. He knows how leather twists and folds. He knows how it ages and how to reinforce wear points so that users get the most use and life out of each piece.

That knowledge Mr. Duvall has come from thousands of hours of professionally working with leather. But crafting stunning personal accessories also takes an innate knack and an artistic eye. The crafters at Duvall Leatherwork have both — experience working with one of the most durable, useful materials of all time and an appreciation for what makes beautiful leather goods.

Types of full grain leather belts

Now that you’ve got the materials, the style and the craftsmanship, you can start to experiment with belt styles. You’ll find these kinds of belts here at Duvall.


Men’s Dress Belts

Dress belts are not quite as versatile as everyday belts, but every man should have one whether they work in an office or not. Because without one, every time you wear that department store belt to a formal event, you just look like you’re trying too hard. Let’s make it easier: Duvall’s Men’s Dress Belts include the Metro Belt and the Freelance Belt.

Men’s Everyday Belts

Everyday belts go great with just about everything, except maybe a tuxedo. Jeans, slacks, shirt and tie, khakis and golf shirt. The only question is whether it matches your style.

Removable Buckle Belts

This is a subsection of the everyday belts, but worth making note of because we know there’s a particular subset of fine leather goods shoppers who also like to customize their belt buckles. Belts with removable buckles include the Roller Buckle Belt.

The Full Grain Leather Belt break-in period

If you’ve never felt brand new, quality full grain leather goods, the first time could be a little strange. New leather feels surprisingly stiff and rigid. That’s because it needs to break in. The leather break-in period is the part where you make your leather belt, bag or wallet your own. This is the part where the story begins. Depending on how you use it, your leather belt might achieve a soft, supple and flexible feel in a month or two. If you’re gentler, and don’t strap it on as often, your belt might hold that stiffer feel for much longer. Over time, you’ll get to know your leather goods. You’ll learn to appreciate that responsive, graceful aging process.

No matter what, these premium men’s leather belts only look and feel better with time. For most men, a belt is the kind of personal accessory they think about buying maybe once in a decade. Don’t suffer through with a cheap, blended leather belt for 10 years (if it even lasts that long). Take a stand for quality, handcrafted men’s accessories and feel proud every time you buckle on your belt.


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